Math 36
Mathematical Models in the Social Sciences

General Information Syllabus Homework

General Information

Lectures Instructor Textbooks / Reserve Material
Philosophy Projects Examinations
Grades Honor Principle Disabilities


M W F 8:45 - 9:45
Th 9:00-9:50 (x-period)
Bradley 105

Daily attendence is essential to success in this course, in particular due to the pace and variety of topics covered. However, if you must miss a class due to illness or for other reasons, it would be appreciated if you contact the instructor (a short note via Blitzmail is sufficient) at least one hour prior to the class start time.


Instructor: Dominic Klyve
Office: 1-G Bradley Hall
Office Hours: M 1-2:30
W 2-3
Th 1-2:30
F 2:00-3:00
and by appointment


Due to the variety of topics covered in a course of this nature, no single textbook would be sufficient. Hence taking good notes will be especially important! Useful materials will be placed on reserve throughout the term, additional resouces will be recommended, and course notes will occasionally be provided.


The philosophy of this course is simple:

You learn math by doing math.

Mathematics is not a spectator sport! Football players don't train for the season by watching instant replays on TV -- nothing can take the place of exercise and practice. Similarly, you cannot learn mathematics by only listening to the lecture. In this course, "doing math" will involve frequent discussion and interpretation in addition to developing and practicing techniques to mathematically analyze a given model. Accordingly, homework will not consist of large numbers of drill-style exercises. Instead, a few problems will be handed out at the end of each class that test basic comprehension and build on ideas discussed in class.


Each student will be responsible for choosing a modeling project topic during the course. Suggestions will be made throughout the term, often significant extensions of material covered in class; other topics may be acceptable with permission of instructor. In particular, projects must involve mathematical techniques or analysis beyond that discussed in class. Projects will consist of a class presentation (about 15 minutes) at the end of term, and a detailed written report containing a discussion of the model, relevant assumptions, mathematical analysis, and interpretation of results. All students should meet with the instructor individually at least once during the term to discuss their chosen topic and project content.


There will be two in-class exams and a final exam in this course:

Midterm 1:
    Friday, January 27

Midterm 2:
    Friday, February 17

Final Exam:


The grades in this course will be calculated as follows:

Homework and Class Participation 30%
Midterm Exams 15% each
Project 15%
Final Exam 25%

Honor Principle

Collaboration on homework is permitted and encouraged; that is, it's a great idea to talk about the problems with each other and try to solve them together. However, you must write up homework solutions independently and in your own words. If you consult any person or source other than the material on reserve, your class notes, and the instructor, you must acknowledge the source in your homework write-up. You will not be penalized for consulting other sources. Consulting the departmental writing editor on course projects is also permitted and encouraged.


Students with disabilities who will be taking this course and may need special accommodations are encouraged to make an appointment to see the instructor as soon as possible. Also, they should stop by the Academic Skills Center in Collis Center to register for support services.